Pediatric Mobile Clinic bridges gap in care during summer
The Pediatric Mobile Clinic at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth is known for being one of the only mobile clinics in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that specializes in pediatrics. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the clinic was active at community centers, churches and the YMCA — providing well-child and sick exams, vaccines, and vision and hearing screenings.
When those services came to a halt in 2020, the team quickly pivoted to offering telehealth and telecare visits to check in on the mental health and well-being of its patients. The clinic also served as one of the first drive-thru COVID-19 testing and childhood vaccine clinics.
In early 2021, the Pediatric Mobile Clinic started offering in-person visits again as its team quickly realized the effects the pandemic had on patients and their families. Many relied on now-closed community clinics as their main form of care and hadn’t seen a health care provider since before the pandemic. The clinic has worked to fill those gaps in care.
“These families are often uninsured or not qualified for government insurance, so when the clinics closed, they had nowhere to go,” said Dr. Christina Robinson, medical director of the Pediatric Mobile Clinic. “There hasn’t been clear messaging to tell these families where there is available care, and we are working hard to fix that.”
If the clinic didn’t exist, there are children who would not be able to go to school in the fall, Robinson said. This clinic is the only accessible form of medical care for many.
The work of Robinson and her team doesn’t stop there. When parents bring their children to the clinic, they are getting more than just care for their child. They receive the resources they need to get medical care for themselves, programming for stress and psychological support, enrichment programs for their children, and information about where they can get food and other essentials.
“We’re focusing on whole health: mind, body, nutrition and preventative care,” Robinson said. “We want to not only be a resource for parents, but also a comfort as they try and do what’s best for their children.”
Information about the whereabouts of the Pediatric Mobile Clinic will be provided when scheduling an appointment at www.unthsc.edu/patient-care/mobile-peds-clinic/locations/.